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Barbarian MM
Part of Titan


Credit: Aerojet

American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The Zenith Star space-based chemical laser missile defense weapon required a launch vehicle capable of placing a 45,000 kg payload into low earth orbit. Martin and Aerojet turned to their work 20 years earlier on advanced Titans for the MOL program. These earlier studies were combined with new concepts for tank construction and materials. The Martin Barbarian was a 4.57 m diameter Titan vehicle (instead of the customary 3.05 m) with four LR-87 engines on the first stage, and a single LR-87 engine on the second stage.

Status: Study 1986. Payload: 45,400 kg (100,000 lb). Thrust: 32,052.66 kN (7,205,725 lbf). Gross mass: 2,100,000 kg (4,600,000 lb). Height: 50.00 m (164.00 ft). Diameter: 4.57 m (14.99 ft). Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

Another variant reportedly consisted of 5 Titan 4 SRM's, clustered around a 5.8 m diameter core. This core would use 5 LR-87 engines, with tankage fabricated on Shuttle external tank tooling. The third stage would utilize a single LR87 engine. Expected cost of the Barbarian per launch was expected to be $ 400-500 million.

A mock-up of the vehicle was prepared for a major television opportunity with President Reagan. The President spoke in front of a full scale model of the Zenith Star spacecraft (4.57 m in diameter, and 24 m long), and beside that, the full scale model of the required Barbarian launch vehicle. That model was a refurbished version of a Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) metal mock-up made in the 1960s. When the MOL program was cancelled, the useless bit of tankage had been sold as scrap to a Colorado farmer. It had to be purchased back for the Zenith Star demonstration. It required quite a bit of cleaning and repainting since it had been lived-in for a while by itinerant travelers.

Barbarian, like Zenith Star, was quickly forgotten with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Star Wars project itself. Key people on the Martin Barbarian included Wally Dinsmore, Roy Jones, and Howard Williams.

LEO Payload: 45,400 kg (100,000 lb) to a 300 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Launch Price $: 500.000 million in 1987 dollars.

Stage Data - Barbarian MM

Family: heavy-lift, orbital launch vehicle. Country: USA. Engines: LR87-11. Spacecraft: Zenith Star. Stages: Barbarian MM-2, Barbarian MM-1, UA1207. Agency: Martin. Bibliography: 268, 480.

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